By Andrew Bushe
DUBLIN — Another religious order, the Brothers of Charity, have issued a public apology to anybody who may have been abused in their care and have asked victims to come forward and assist with a major Garda sex-abuse probe.
The order went public and placed advertisements in national newspapers as former pupils of a special school in Galway made complaints dating back 30 years.
Statements have already been taken from seven former pupils and up to 10 additional complaints are being processed including a number from former pupils living in Britain, according to gardai.
So far two members of the order have been questioned.
"The Holy Family School Board and the Brothers of Charity Services are deeply concerned that such abuse may have occurred and wish to ensure that anyone who may have been abused is offered help," the ads said.
Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter
"Accordingly, the Western Health Board has been asked to establish an independent inquiry."
Because the Holy Family School in Renmore catered to children with a range of learning disabilities, the brother’s ad asks relatives and friends to talk to former pupils and encourage them to contact a confidential helpline if they feel they have been abused.
The helpline has been set up independently by the Health Board and will be open from 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. six days a week until March 6.
The Provincial superior, Brother Alfred Hassett, said the complaints had come from both day and residential former pupils at the school.
"Our concern first of all was obviously that we were deeply saddened and deeply concerned if anybody has been in any way abused